China is a country in East Asia, the world’s largest country by population and one of the largest by area. The name China was given to it by foreigners and is probably based on a corruption of Qin (pronounced “chin”), a Chinese dynasty that ruled during the 3rd century BC.
China proper centers on the agricultural regions drained by three major rivers—the Huang He (Yellow River) in the north, the Yangtze (Chang Jiang) in central China, and the Zhu Jiang (Pearl River) in the south. The country’s varied terrain includes vast deserts, towering mountains, high plateaus, and broad plains. Beijing is China’s capital and its main cultural and economic center. Shanghai, located near the Yangtze, is the most populous urban center, the largest industrial and commercial city, and mainland China’s leading port.
In ancient times, China was East Asia’s dominant civilization. Other societies—notably the Japanese, Koreans, Tibetans, and Vietnamese—were strongly influenced by China, adopting features of Chinese art, food, material culture, philosophy, government, technology, and written language. For many centuries, especially from the 7th through the 14th century AD, China had the world’s most advanced civilization. Inventions such as paper, printing, gunpowder, porcelain, silk, and the compass originated in China and then spread to other parts of the world.
Hong Kong - China.
Hong Kong - China
In early 19th century, Hong Kong was an island with hardly a house upon it and was part of China. During the Opium War (1839-1842), the island was occupied by the United Kingdom. After its defeat, China has formally ceded Hong Kong to UK. An agreement, in 1898, indicated the devolution of the territory back to China in 1997. As agreed, Hong Kong came back to be part of China in July of 1997, becoming the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China.
Today, Hong Kong, or Xianggang, as called by locals, is an important metropolitan area and port of Asia, with 7,3 million inhabitants. More: Map of China ►
The Great Wall of China
When the Greeks have chosen the Seven Wonders of the ancient world, they did not know the Walls of China. Construction of the Great Wall started in the 7th century B.C., in an effort to hold off the invaders from the Xiongnu tribes. It was built over a period of 1000 years. Stretching more than 6,000 kilometers, from Korea to the Gobi Desert.
Part of the Great Wall in Badling, China (left).
Potala Palace, the old residence of the Dalai Lama, located in Lhasa, Tibet - China. It is still a religious and administrative complex, with more than 1,000 rooms and 10,000 altars.
Lama Temple (Yonghe palace), in Beijing. It was built in 1694, and was the residence of the Manchu Prince Heze. In 1723, Heze succeeded to the throne as Emperor Yongzheng. Today, the temple preserves a great number of Buddhist figures and classical cultural relics of Buddhism.
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